In Huddle

Vargas accepts TV5 top post

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I WASN’T sure if I was to take the text message lightly since it came from someone inside Manny V. Pangilinan’s inner circle.

“Ricky Vargas is going to join show biz very, very soon,” the message read. “This is a scoop you might want to write in your Sunday column, but please don’t mention where it came from.”

Ricky Vargas, in show biz? Perhaps his colleague was joking, taking me for a ride.

But then again, he could be serious. Ricky’s colleagues are not the type to make up stories for the sake of fun. Plus, he once did nurture a dream of becoming a movie star.

But still, it was hard to visualize the very corporate Maynilad president and CEO in front of blinding klieg lights taping for a teleserye or hosting a talk show.

Aside from being Maynilad’s head honcho, Ricky is also very much into sports. He is president of  the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines, vice chair of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, and PBA governor for the Talk ‘N Text franchise.

His career history includes mastery of banking and human resources development.

Then I suddenly remembered.

* * *

Last year, I  had been hearing reports that Ricky was being offered to head TV5, which was having big problems.

But Ricky was happy where he was. Although Maynilad didn’t have the glamour and excitement of a television network which included a sports channel, it was financially sound and he had no major headaches.

At this point in his life, perhaps Ricky  didn’t want anymore Herculean challenges.

Or so I thought. According to the colleague, after four months of pondering on the offer, Ricky decided to accept the job of TV5 president and CEO, a post he will hold concurrent with his Maynilad function. After the confirmation, the first thing I wanted to do was congratulate  the new TV5 head and have a brief interview with him.

Will we be seeing more of our PBA superstars invading the TV5 sitcoms and teleseryes? Ricky’s colleague mentioned something along these lines.

But the colleague quickly advised me not to call Ricky, “because he might request you not to write the story,” he said.

I don’t mind waiting for another day.

* * *

Wherever he is, Jun Bernardino must be smiling.

Never has volleyball here in the Philippines reached such a lofty height of popularity as it is enjoying now. The former PBA commissioner and the rest of the pioneering group that formed the outfit  “Sports Vision Management Inc” created and organized the Shakey’s V-League, which spiked the sport’s popularity.

The huge turnout in the  recently-concluded UAAP championship series between Ateneo and La Salle played at the Smart Araneta Coliseum is proof of the sport’s newfound fame.

The day after the Lady Green Archers won, I congratulated Moying Martelino, one of the late Jun B’s co-founders. I said he and the rest of the group deserve a big pat on the back. Imagine, more than 18,000 people watching a local volleyball game! That has never happened before. I must admit I was stunned, awed. The first thing that came to mind was that Jun B and the rest of his gang should be given credit they rightfully deserve.

I was around when the SVMI was being formed. The incorporators, apart from Moying and the late Jun B., were Rhea Navarro, Sonny Barrios, Ricky Palou, Chito Loyzaga,  Rickie Santos, Elmer Yanga and Norman Black. Congrats guys! My hats off too to Shakey’s and Vic Gregorio for their continuing support to the sport.

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